Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Matthew O. Stephens
Cheney Free Press 

Colfax woman finds her dream


November 4, 2021

Matthew O. Stephens I Cheney Free Press

The Pizza Oven offers drive-through service to sell pizza by the slice for lunch.

MEDICAL LAKE - Colfax resident Jessica Pedersen worked hard to bring her restaurant dreams to life in Medical Lake.

She opened The Pizza Oven at 611 State Route 902 in Medical Lake on Oct. 8.

Pedersen said she accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the pizza industry. Many of the roles she maintained were management positions. She followed her entrepreneurial spirit to decide it was time to turn her dream into a reality.

Pedersen was able to hire a strong staff of workers, and it's a big reason for her early success, she said.

Colville resident Blaine Miller's family has been operating pizza restaurants in Spokane for years. When Pedersen offered him a chance to co-manage the new restaurant, he jumped on it.

Not only does he co-manage, but 31-year-old Miller has become the dough specialist and he said that is one of the main reasons the restaurant will stand out.

"I mix and make all of our pan dough fresh every day, and that gives it a lot of consistency," he said, "Because we are local, we aren't tied to chain suppliers and don't utilize pre-made dough."

The restaurant also offers cauliflower crust for people that have certain diets as well he said.

The community supported the opening. The 41-year-old business owner said she had to close early on opening day because they received so many orders.

"We could not have expected the community support to be better," she said, "The support has been very motivating."

Pedersen started to return the community support when the restaurant donated meals to fire victims in Medical Lake and offers military and first responder discounts. She has plans to donate to local schools and community programs d.

"As a small business owner, it is incredibly important to be proactive in the community because the surrounding communities make small businesses succeed," Pedersen said.

The business partners are offering something most pizza restaurants don't – fast service.

"We have a lunch period from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, where we sell pizza by the slice, and customers can buy quick slices at the drive-through window," Pedersen said."

The Pizza Oven offers most standard toppings for customers to create family favorites, and they offer some specialty items Miller said.

"Our most popular pizza currently is called The Bear, and it will soon be called The Oven Special," Miller said.

The Pizza Oven is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays. Customers can order to dine-in, carry out, or for delivery within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.


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